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Hit the Ground Running: 10 Questions to Ask Your Mentor

So you’ve found a mentor and you’re ready to get started. Where do you begin? How do you know what questions to ask? Every budding entrepreneur needs mentors to be successful. But business mentors are very busy people, so you want to make the best use of their limited time by asking thoughtful, pointed questions right from the start. Part of being proactive in building and maintaining a healthy mentoring relationship is knowing your career goals and communicating them to your mentor so they can decide best how to help you. A mentor is not there to make decisions for you; rather, they are there to provide guidance and motivation to help you make your own decisions.

 When first starting out, mentoring relationships can be awkward and uncertain. Here are ten questions to help you hit the ground running and be on your way towards a successful mentoring relationship:

1.    At the beginning, you’re just getting to know each other. Learn more about your mentor by asking how s/he spends most of their time. You’ll gain useful insights about their likes and dislikes.

2.    Chances are, you are not the first mentee to be accepted by your mentor. Ask their recommendations for setting a schedule at the onset, and stick to the program as often as you can.

3.    Mentors are often experts in their fields. Ask your mentor what makes them unique and how they’ve been successful.

4.    We all enjoy an opportunity to share our achievements. Ask your mentor about significant milestones and career successes they are proud of.

5.    Even though they are experts, mentors are not infallible. Ask your mentor to share any mistakes they’ve made or regrets they have.

6.    Ask your mentor to share how s/he accepts defeat or failure in life, and how s/he manages to see the positive side.

7.   Mentoring can be a serious responsibility, so mentors usually have a good reason for taking on a mentee. Ask your mentor to explain why they accepted you, and if they ask, let them know why you chose them.

8.    Ask your mentor what s/he would do at this stage in their career if they were a mentee like you.

9.  Remember, a mentoring relationship is meant to be beneficial to both the mentor and the mentee. Mentors can learn valuable lessons from the experience, and they can’t succeed unless you do. So don’t be afraid to ask if you can help your mentor in any way possible.

10. Finally, once you’ve built mutual trust and confidence, ask your mentor if there is anything you can do better.

Mentoring relationships can be tricky when first starting out, but if you ask the right questions from the onset, you’ll not only gain trust and confidence, but also build momentum. At the end of your mentoring session, thank your mentor for their valuable time. Ask yourself what you’ve learned and how you’ll move forward. Be sure to schedule your next mentoring session, and continue to be clear and intentional with your questions. You’ll quickly make progress, and your mentor will be thrilled to see you taking initiative with your career. 

Succeed in mentoring with MentorCloud

Interested in learning more about how to start your mentoring relationship strong? Contact MentorCloud for more valuable insights. MentorCloud allows your organization to share knowledge and wisdom openly, while enabling both small and large companies to develop their employees.

 If this post was valuable to you, please feel free to share it across your social media channels. Also, give us your thoughts on best practices and/or your experiences with mentoring. Thank you for reading, and check back in every Monday and Thursday for original posts on the #powerofmentoring!